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the pentagon's budget and still protect national security. former defense undersecretary michelle flournoy, if identify got that right -- michelle flournoy, i beg your pardon, she penned an op-ed in the wall street journal this week. joining us is aforementioned michele flournoy. michelle, or undersecretary, which ever you prefer -- >> michelle, please. >> i thought your piece was terrific. sequester or not, defense department is going to lose 10% of its budget and you think there are good ways to do it. walk us through some of the key points. >> i do think the defense budget will come under pressure, even if we do get a deal. there are ways to reduce costs go after the defense enterprise rather than balance the budget on the back of the force. first cutting unnecessary overhead. the pentagon and d.o.d. has grown by more than 100,000 civilians in the last decade. we can pare those back now that we're coming out of a period of war. >> i thought your civilian argument was great. we've been through these wars and you're saying you can take it right back down without losing any national securi
the pentagon. and really ambiguity on israel, too. is that possible that's why he was picked? >> well, actually, i think even more revealing when he said it doesn't matter what i think, i'm not in a policy role. in other words, obama has chosen a stooge who has no independent thoughts, who is not going to be in the way, who is simply going to be there as a plug so that he can continue to slash the pentagon budget. this was a five-car pile-up, larry. this was a fiasco, a debacle, whatever you want to call it. what happened in the hearing today is this shifted from an issue of ideology to an issue of competence. would we be willing to trust this man if he went in to go talk to the russians, if he went in to the middle east. i don't think anyone in good conscience looking at him can say he's prepared, he's sober, he has a grasp of these issues. it was an embarrassing performance. the worst in my lifetime, larry, and i'm not alone. a lot of mainstream reporters saying this was really bad. >> aw shucks, jennifer, i can think of many in your lifetime. >> oh, not as bad as this. >> i want to ask you o
. republicans want to move away from these pentagon cuts and put pressure on the president to come up with new cuts. karl rove recommended that today in the "wall street journal." >> pentagon is 20% of our federal budget. if you're going to make cuts in spending that's not entitlements you have to -- >> ding, ding, ding, that's not entitlements. can we make entitlement cuts? >> sequestration doesn't deal with it. >> the president will never do entitlement cuts. >> here's the reality. we saw the gdp growth numbers decline in the last quarter of 2012 because of the contraction in federal government spending. >> that's primarily in the military. >> the private-sector economy has grown 5%. they weathered these cuts. >> ed rogers i want to go back to one fundamental point regarding my sermon on the mound. i really believe that any time you can cut spending and limit government that is good for the economy. that is why fundamentally apart from the numbers and getting in the weed for all these debates i think that this is a pro growth move and that's the reason why i want the republicans to hang toug
care benefit system in the pentagon needs to be overhauled and that these are where major savings are and that's where we should aim for, that the pentagon cannot be immune from this exercise. >> i wouldn't disagree at all. i think you can debate what kind of military defense strategy you wish, what kind of forces you plan on having, their technology, their training levels, all that should be on the table. but you've got to do it in a rational way. you've got to act like it's a business. the whole notion of cutting billions of dollars out of the defense budget, i just read one of the pundits announcing you can cut the defense budget by 2/3 and it wouldn't affect national security. and that all of this is political theater. it's anything but political theater. you know, dr. ash carter, the deputy's a very rational, bright fellow. very experienced. the chiefs of the services just testified under oath. they said this is going to be a big problem. and i think it is. >> and i agree with the general. because again, as i said, i'm not saying not to do cuts but let's do it smart. let's no
he knows and doesn't know about the pentagon because he didn't know much. why are the democrats going to lay down for this? >> if i were the democrats and i'm looking at a republican whose foreign policy views are very popular with the likes of pat buchanan, might have some second thoughts about that. nice a guy as pat is, his foreign policy view ace little bit crazy. chuck hagel obviously holds some views, has empathies that are out of the mainstream of the republicans and democrats. we have two parts that agree on a very aggressive interventionist policy. >> besides president obama, i admit the president usually gets his own. i don't see anybody laying down for this guy. and i read today, okay, i read pretty your stuff. i read it from a lot of stuff. he is refusing to disclose his financials. particularly his foreign financials. i don't know how you get through under those circumstances. >> the democrats will support him. the more important issue for them is barack obama. barack obama is still the number one issue in politics today. and democrats need his support to win in 2014. so
if, larry, you get rid of all the waste and abuse that they say is in the pentagon, you're still not going to make a dent in the spending that we need to to bring our budgets back under control. the fact of the matter is president obama not only suggested but he insisted that this sequester become law. you now have democrats running away -- >> it was his idea. and we just clarified that. it was his idea in the first place. why is he trying to worm out of his idea? >> not only the president but the entire democratic party has this righteous indignation over sequester when in fact they were the ones pushing it in the first place. the house has twice passed bills that would bring reasonable spending cuts into law. the senate thus far, we have seen a complete vacuum of leadership. it's time, frankly, for everyone to come to the table and have a reasonable discussion about what meaningful spending cuts would actually take to pass into law. >> catherine, i just want to get your quick take as the libertarian in the group. we've got a little something for everybody here tonight. before i
Search Results 0 to 5 of about 6